Proposal for Media Analysis Article 2

By Andriana Simos (z061608, F10A)

  1. The topic/subject area or personality you are proposing to deal with in your 2nd written assignment.

For my second assignment, I will be analysing the different representations of Deborah Thomas who is the chief executive of Ardent Leisure, the owner of Dreamworld. I will focus on her as a personality as she has recently come under fire following the Dreamworld ride tragedy. Specifically, I will look at a mixture of both “objective” and “subjective” articles in order to show the various opinions and attitudes towards Deborah’s “performance bonus” just days after the accident.

  1. How many articles will you be dealing with? Provide the headline of the items and links.

I will be dealing with 4 articles. These include:

  • ‘Dreamworld accident: Theme park’s future ‘in doubt’ after four deaths’ by Rachel Olding and Felicity Caldwell on October 28, 2016.

  • ‘Dreamworld Accident: Ardent Leisure chief executive Deborah Thomas donates bonus to Red Cross’ by Rachel Olding on October 27, 2016.

  • ‘Why should Dreamworld owner’s boss keep her $800 000 bonus? She earned it’ by Anthony Keane on October 27, 2016.

  • ‘Dreamworld deaths: Can the company’s leaders save the now-maligned theme park?’ by Antoinette Lattouf on October 28, 2017. 

  1. Brief outline of the articles you will be analysing.
  • This article by Olding and Caldwell is an “objective” news report article where the writers try to provide an “unbiased” report on the events as well as the way in which Ardent Leisure has handled the situation. However, regardless of the notion that the article is meant to be objective, it is clear that the writers have chosen specific words such as “backtracked” and “in doubt” in order to position the readers to think about the management in a certain negative light.
  • This piece is another “objective” news writing article, however, its focus is more on Deborah Thomas as an individual. The choice of words and images portray the idea that many people think she handled the situation badly and that the bonus announcement was poorly timed.
  • This article by Keane is a “subjective” opinion piece which surprisingly differs from the other two articles. It suggests that all the criticism surrounding Deborah is not justified as “business” must go on and she “earned” her bonus. He admits that although the timing may be wrong, it is really out of Deborah’ hands as the AGM legally needed to be held.
  • This article is “objective,” however, its choice of words is quite attitudinal and suggestive of the writer’s negative viewpoint of the “public relations disaster.”
  1. What do I anticipate to be my final conclusions?

By analysing all of these articles (both objective and subjective) it will become clear that most writers have a negative opinion of how Ardent Leisure and Deborah Thomas handled the Dreamworld tragedy. Specifically, the choice of words and images position the audience to take a negative view of Deborah and the group.

However, it must be mentioned that Keane’s more “subjective’ piece has a more positive evaluation of the situation and as a result, I will conclude that although some articles do portray Deborah in a negative light, there are also articles which are more positive. Therefore, the readers are able to read these articles and form their own opinion on the issue as the articles being published are not only negative.

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